MTV is doing a blessed thing. With “RetroMTV,” the network will be replaying three of the finest seasons of The Real World starting this Friday and continuing throughout Sunday, including the first New York season, the San Francisco season with Pedro Zamora, and the first Las Vegas season with Trishelle Cannatella. I hope that sentence filled you with the adrenaline of a thousand jars of stolen peanut butter, because I’m tweaking over here.
It’s all in anticipation for The Real World: Portland, which begins March 27.
This happy occasion proves the opportunity for another: Let’s create a Real World supergroup, an ideal cast composed of seven of the best housemates in the show’s history. I’m basing my picks on the cast archetypes that are most important to me, but if you come up with your own casts in the comments, feel free to change the categories to your liking.
1. Best Gay Cast Member
My pick: Norman Korpi (New York, season 1)
Other nominees: Danny Roberts from New Orleans, Dan Renzi from Miami
I’ve got to have Norman in my ideal cast. The first gay guy on The Real World is probably the one I’d still most want to hang out with, as he mainly served as the voice of reason during that all-important New York season. (Admittedly, I also love Heather B., who was a riot during the 2000 Real World/Road Rules Challenge.) While Dan Renzi may have had more hilarious and explosive moments on the Miami season, Norman was articulate and cool and an open Trekkie. We don’t see cast members like that on most any reality show now, whether they’re gay or straight.
2. Best Emotionally Relatable Female
My pick: Amaya Brecher (Hawaii, season 8)
Other nominees: Genesis from Boston, Lindsay from Seattle
I know this is a controversial pick, but I seriously lapped up everything about Amaya, including her annoying crush on Colin, her utter lack of common ground with Kaia and Ruthie, and her actually very funny sense of humor. No one remembers that Amaya was funny! She referred to the other girls’ breasts as “na-nas” and went on a hike in heels, claiming, “I look like I’m named Bianca.” Once, she also quoted lyrics from Alanis Morissette’s difficult second album, and that made me realize we had everything in common. Emotionally.
3. Best “But Maybe You ARE Gay” Straight Hottie
My pick: Alton Williams (Las Vegas, season 12)
Other nominees: Landon from Philadelphia, Steven from Las Vegas
So many of the straight dudes on The Real World just assume they are interesting, and that is rarely the truth. For gay home viewers, sometimes it’s just better if a straight cast member has an intriguing, effete quality that keeps you guessing about their sexual orientation even after they sleep with gorgeous ladies like Irulan. Alton came into the season announcing he was afraid of gay people, and later he even showed concern about seeming gay when he had to dance on skis with Steven for an event at their job. Oh, gay panic. A telegenic treat! The man did have a winning smile, and I was pleased to see him in the recent Battle of the Seasons. That winsome face! That blandness! We always need bland hotness, guys.